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Mining giant refuses to give in to activist shareholders who demand climate action

Vision Super
Vision Super

A multinational resources company refused shareholder activist demands that it to stop dealing with groups that do not support tough action on climate change.

BHP ignored a 27 per cent vote at the annual general meeting in Sydney in favour of the proponent’s resignation from lobby groups that do not promote goals of the Paris climate agreement to limit climate change to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Company executives did not vote against the resolution because the company was already taking environmental protection seriously and it would be easier to find a solution if BHP continued to work with industry groups.

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‘Hit them where it hurts’

Industry super fund Vision Super, the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility and others claimed they were acting on behalf of shareholders who collectively own $12.3 trillion in investments among themselves.

The super fund confirmed BHP was targeted because it is a “major funder” of industry associations that lobby against climate policy.

“Their suspension of these memberships would hit them where it hurts,” Vision Super chief investment officer Michael Wyrsch said in a public statement. “This kind of lobbying is against our interests as shareholders in BHP, and it’s against everyone’s interests who wants a habitable planet to live on.”